How to Make an Over the Collar Dog Bandana

Bandannas are a popular fashion accessory for dogs, and over-the-collar bandannas are safe and easy to make.
Bandannas are a popular fashion accessory for dogs, and over-the-collar bandannas are safe and easy to make. (Image: Heeler Pup 14 image by Lee O'Dell from

Many animal lovers think of and treat their pets as members of their families. That includes dressing them up in different outfits, or at the very least, a cute bandanna. This neckwear is often seen on dogs, but just wrapping a bandanna around your dog's neck and tying a knot can be dangerous. Another option -- the over the collar bandanna -- has a sleeve into which the collar slides. This bandanna eliminates the risk of choking and is quite simple to make.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Collar
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Marking pen
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

How to Make an Over the Collar Dog Bandanna

Select a piece of fabric that you like, and measure your dog’s collar with a measuring tape so that you can cut the bandanna to the proper size. The width of the bandanna should be about two-thirds the length of the collar.

Measure the width of the collar. This is important because you will need to make a sleeve in the bandanna that is wide enough to slide the collar through.

Place a ruler on the underside of the fabric once you determine how wide you need to make your dog’s bandanna and draw a line of that width with the pen. At the end of this line, draw a perpendicular line that is double the width of the collar. This is the width line for your bandanna sleeve. Draw another width line perpendicular to the other end of the original line.

Find the center of the bandanna, measuring from the bottom of your sleeve line to the edge of the fabric and parallel to your original line. Mark the center with a dot. Put the ruler on your original line and measure down through the center mark to the same length as the original line. Mark this point.

Connect this point to the bottom edges of your sleeve line, drawing lines so that you have a pattern that ends in a point. It should be shaped like home plate in baseball.

Cut out the pattern and fold over all of the edges, except the top, about half an inch. Pin the edges in place with straight pins and sew a straight, even hem, removing the pins when you are finished. Fold the top, which will be the collar sleeve, in half and pin it down. Sew it in place and remove the pins.

Slip your dog’s collar through the sleeve and fasten the collar to show off your pet’s new look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ironing the folded-over fabric edges before hemming can help them stay in place.
  • Scissors work fine to cut out the pattern, but you can also use pinking shears.
  • You can use just about any kind of fabric, in any pattern you like, to make the bandanna. For a fancier bandanna, you can embroider a pattern onto the bandanna before sewing.
  • If you are not handy with a sewing machine, you can hem the fabric by hand. Over-the-collar bandannas are also available in various styles through online vendors.
  • Always check to be sure you have removed all of the straight pins before sliding the bandanna onto your dog's collar.
  • Be sure to choose a marking pen that will come out in the wash so that your new over-the-collar bandanna doesn't bear the lasting marks of your efforts.

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